Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Vice President Dick Cheney, the Iraq War & the Military Industrial Complex

President Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans about the "Military Industrial Complex" in his farewell speech leaving as President of the United States in 1961.  Apparently, President Eisenhower had perfect vision looking back to World War II and presiding over the Cold War. This is not at all surprising in the least as the old aphorism goes: "Hindsight is always 20/20 vision."  What does that mean?  Well, we should learn from our past.  In fact, it is our past that directs the very decisions we make about our future.  When we don't learn from our past, we infer another old adage that states, "History is bound to repeat itself."

Let me explain...
Just prior to World War II, British Prime Minister Chamberlain exclaimed, "Peace in our time!" thinking he was averting a Second World War with Germany when Hitler started "annexing" parts of Europe. Appeasement was the policy of the day.  Thinking that would be the end of the aggression, the Western powers fooled themselves into a false sense of security thinking that peace would finally win over war.

Meanwhile, in direct contravention of International Law and the Versailles Peace Treaty, Germany started rearming and restarting a vast military industrial complex by contracting with multiple factories to make various armaments, artillery, tanks, planes and guns for the upcoming war.  Hitler and the industrial military complex (which was still in power after Germany's defeat in World War I) now had the chance to become rich providing massive military capability - made with the latest and best technology of the day.  And, as further assurance the military complex would have security knowing that the Nazi War Machine would provide an excellent profitability for an indefinite time period - by engaging in massive warfare and with an eye towards military conquest.

Eisenhower plainly saw this "alliance" between the Nazis and the powerful owners of manufacturing.  This alliance was still very much in place after World War 1 and had not been dismantled.  In fact, WWI did not see the dismantling of this power bloc until the Nuremberg Trials after World War II.  This power alliance posed the greatest single threat to threat to political stability and democracy in Germany.  The money, power and warfare makes for incredible wealth for a nation.  And, the power players who manufacture the weapons of war will constantly use their massive wealth and political power to put pressure on politicians to make and manufacture those weapons and to step up that production in war time.

This massively influential institution is required to be fully armed and functional and must be available upon a moment's notice.  But, there has never been a time in all of human history has any nation been known to dump so many resources into military matters as the United States of America.

Eisenhower saw plainly the effects that such a massive industrial military complex would have on the nation and the world.  He saw that this complex should be maintained and used more as a peace keeping format than one of aggression as implemented by the Nazi Empire.  This political, wealthy and powerful complex would have significant influence in American politics and the governing of our nation.  Eisenhower was right to be worried about this connection as it could lead the Republic towards acts of aggression and away from more peaceful missions of diplomacy.

Thus, under the rule of Nazism, the idea of the "industrial military complex" was born.  Interestingly enough, two books were written on the matter - before and during World War II: Fascism and Big Business by Daniel Guerin and Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism by Franz Leopold Neumann.  (See: Wikipedia)

Fast forward to President Dwight Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the public.  This historic speech alludes to some of the matters that President Eisenhower was witness to during his tenure as Supreme Leader of the Allied Forces and as President of the United States ("POTUS").

Fast forward to September 11, 2001 - Terrorists murder millions in the WTC incidents on President Bush's watch.

Approximately a month later, Bush and Cheney invade Afghanistan to wipe out Al qaeda.

I am certain that Cheney told Bush that it would be in the best interest of the Bush Legacy to attack Iraq, depose of Saddam as President of Iraq and link the government of Iraq to weapons of mass destruction and Al qaeda.  Indeed, the Bush Administration went along with the plan and years later the public finds out that Iraq never had any such weapons and that there was no connection found between Hussein and the terrorists.

Halliburton (A Dick Cheney Company) would be one of the contractors given approximately $138 billion dollars in contracts to do work in Iraq.  Cheney's wealth skyrocketed as a result.

Conclusion: If war is so profitable, it will be nearly impossible to keep the peace.  You can most certainly bet that the industrial military complex will be lobbying for war as those contracts are worth TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS.  The American people have a responsibility to separate the politicians from making certain decisions wherein there is a conflict of interest.  Regardless of their position in government, our republic must do everything possible to steer clear of decisions that are of monetary benefit to those politicians who make decisions in areas of government that can and will benefit them monetarily.  Failure to do so can only lead to mass corruption and could possibly even threaten the very well being of the Republic.

(1) http://leaksource.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/contractors-reap-138-billion-from-iraq-war-cheneys-halliburton-1-with-39-5-billion/
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Cheney

Michael Hathman

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